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Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:10 pm
by zelph
I'm off having fun and doing a little work at the same time. My wife and I are campground hosts for an RV Campground here in Illinois. We love camping so we're giving this life style a try. If we make it through 6 months of close living quarters then we'll head South and find a nice location to do this full time. It's called Work Camping. We get full hookup to water, sewer, cable TV, WIFI and laundry...mabe fire wood also. If they furnish free firewood it's a loosing proposition for them :lol:

We will be close enough to home so I can return on Monday and stay till Wednesday night. That gives me time to ship stove orders and make a few prototypes. Can't have too many prototypes :mrgreen:

I do have to work on my hammock modification also ;)

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:08 pm
by sudden
Don't forget your welder and press and stash of stainless steel goodies. Better yet, bring a trailer along with you to handle all the things you need to keep your mind occupied for 6 months.

What's your time commitment to the site like, Is it 24/7 or do you get some time to wander away?

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:08 pm
by ConnieD
return on Monday and stay till Wednesday

This is your "weekend"?

I hope you tell us all about it.

I did it one winter, until May, I think. It was a remote campground, a jumping off point for trips into Lewis and Clark National Forest and The Bob Marshall Wilderness. There wasn't two days in a row there weren't people there.

That situation was 24/7. It was RV. I know I can't live in an RV year in and year out. I rent homes and apartments.

I looked at the website: your RV campground looks nice.

Any tents? Any hammocks?

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:25 pm
by Ridgerunner
It sounds like an awesome opportunity to camp and get paid at the same time. How many hours of the day are you on duty? Will you and your wife work the entire shift or will you split the time up? What is the average number of campers on site at any given time?

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:08 pm
by zelph
There are 3 couples.

Women work in the office. Hours are 9am to 3pm and 3pm to 9pm 2 women will do that for 4 days.

Men 8am to 2pm and 2pm to 8pm for 4 days

2 days will be morning shift and 2 days will be evening shift.

4 days a week, the busy ones....Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday. I'll try and work something out that I don't have to work on Sunday.

Have not got an idea how many campers on any given day. There are many year round camping RV's that stay in the park. Many have electric meters and pay the county for usage. There are many that stay monthly. There were many construction worker living in RV's year round. The park has a propane fill station for RV's to fill up during winter months. Some RV's have large propane tanks installed for winter use. They are about 1.5 feet in diameter by 4 feet tall. Some of the Rv's look like they've been there forever.

I don't know if tents are allowed on sites. I'm pretty sure hammocks can be used.

Looks like everyone uses golf cars to run around in. Most of them are covered now from being stored over winter.

The owner/manager(single woman) lives in a nice home in the park. She has 2 teen boys that live with her and they do the grass mowing for the most part. They have a full time handy man/maintenance person and cleaning person for restrooms and laundry room.

Fishing rules say there is no limit on bluegills :mrgreen:

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:20 pm
by Ridgerunner
Six hours per day is not too bad for an ol' timer :P What kind of chores will the men have? Do you make sure these is no squatters or rebel rousers in camp? Beware of hikers sneaking in for a free shower :lol: keep us filled in on your trials and tribulations ;) and enjoy yourself :D

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:30 pm
by zelph
Men will fill propane tanks. They have a way to take a small tank around to the permanent situated rv's so their tanks can be filled. I'll find that out this week end. So I'll work 2 days and then be off for 3 and then do a four day stint the following week. Men will spray weed killer/preventer do some minor grass trimming with a weed whip. Sell wood, carry it to the rv's using an electric golf car type vehicle. Ride around and make sure all rv's are registered. Once they leave check the site to make sure trash is picked up and fire rings are decent.
Bummer, I found out this evening that fire wood is not free :cry: :cry: :mrgreen:

What you mean ol timer :P

The office building is only 5 years old....very nice building with showers and flush toilets.

I'll take photos as the days go on.

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:47 am
by ConnieD
I thought you might be a campground host at a U.S. Forest Service campground (some are year 'round) or a National Park or perhaps at a National Monument in the Southwest in Winter.

There is an RV Park like that in Great Falls, MT. There are year 'round residents in RV's. There are seasonal residents in RV's, that leave in winter. There are travelers, stopping in the RV Centers to have work done on their RV, or to tidy up, before traveling to their destination. Many travelers get work done at a big RV jamboree in Arizona.

Some carry bicycles to bicycle around resort towns, finding resort towns in remote locales on the coast, for example. Some carry dirt bikes to explore single-track trails from maps provided by online clubs, like Riding Arizona. Others look at online Bicycle Touring Pro and use their RV as a base camp or a sag wagon for bicycle touring.

Other RV'ers have 4x4 ATV's to participate in a 4x4 ATV RV park in Utah. Others join clubs and only see other members of those clubs. Some RV'ers only park at the far end of RV friendly Walmart and Camping World stores parking lots. Other RV'ers only primitive camp on U.S. Forest Service or BLM land with a "primitive camp" permit and drive to the pump outs at truck stops, paid campgrounds, and other pump outs marked on maps in books purchased at RV stores.

There are quite a few different ways to be a full-timer. I looked into it, when I purchased my RV.

I really wanted the RV to live in while I built my house: I haven't given up on that.

RV full-timer wasn't my thing: I need a home base.

That is about everything I know about the subject.

I do know the applications for the National Parks are made in the Winter. They seldom fill a position later on. I really wanted to do that. Those are positions you apply for and maybe they will come through for you.

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:29 am
by zelph
Your dream home will get done someday. For now find a new place to live so you gan get away from the problems at hand.

Re: Zelph is Camping

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:02 am
by ConnieD
Like I have said, I am next for a house with a fenced yard and a garage. I can stage building my home from there.

I am hoping the two that have the house right now are temporary. It is all I can do here.

This region is highly desireable for tourism. It has resorts nearby. Most people once established here, never leave.

In my advantage, I have income. The young people around here cannot rely on holding onto a job, if they can get one, because all the employment that pays well is temporary hire, then, the job is done. Other than that, the highest paid employment is $15 an hour. More than one person can't live on it. Often one person can't live on it, because everything else is so high priced.

It seems everyone here wants the tourist dollar, or, a rich and stupid person to buy their worthless land. The problem is, few of the rich are also stupid.

I have found this to be true near every scenic attraction or resort town.

I prefer those places. That is why I got into house sitting. I can tell you, couples get lifetime "positions" on exquisite properties for house sitting for people who at least have a landscape service. That is one more full-time RV position, mainly for resorts in the off-season and year-round for private homes. I had two private homeowners build a driveway, a gate, and a place for my RV. Each wanted me to stay but they accept that single people do not want a permanent arrangement. Married couples get the very best deals like that. Many of those "situations" will give you the gate house, a garden house, or a guest house.

I did that since college. I never paid rent, since college. Only here, this past two years, trying to build a house on choice-property. The only way I can see my way to overcome it is to not participate in bribes that never stop, really, and prevail by shear determination and endurance as others have done. It takes grit to build a home here.

I recommend arrange for relations to use your home on condition they do the upkeep and pay the taxes during their occupancy, or, get in on a home exchange program (like one member of my family - they exchange with Europe and Japan) or, just let reliable relatives live there. I know no one, not one person, who sold their home and got a home they liked after the sale.

I hope you are not considering selling your home, for a full-time RV life. I met few people, who have really got that to their lifestyle preference. In some ways, I think they are the same people who like live-aboard boating. Both are people I have met in my 40 years adventures since college.

I was asked, where do you live. The answer was 2,150 acres private inhold in Point Reyes National Seashore but for their privacy reasons I am not allowed to say, so I didn't. The number-one condition of looking after property, any property, is you do not tell. I only had one owner of rural property next to a national forest and a designated wilderness area make me designated custodian of the land. Everyone else wants complete and uncompromised privacy.

I even housesat a beach house for a famous singer my brother loves with a passion and I can't tell her name. I have never told anyone who I housesat for, not even my brother. It is their privacy, number one.

I mention all this because housesitting for scenic and lovely homes and rural property is what I did for 40+ years until now.

It is a great lifestyle. But you must keep full confidentiality. Always, no matter what. Because they don't want their lives dragged into anything, not even UPS package delivery. You sign for them, your name after their name. Only the UPS man finds out you are not the author no one ever sees. Really. He doesn't tell or he finds out he doesn't have a job because the word of that will get back to his job. Practically everyone who lives in these kind of places are jealous of their privacy. I had the most expensive architect-designed home, a unique and exquisite home, on the ridge above a resort town near all resort towns on the coast. To this day, people think I live there, that I am that author-lady who travels extensively. I can't clear it up, because I can't tell anything about her or her situation. It is the number one rule, confidentiality. If you break that confidentiality, even hint, the referrals stop.

Once you start, you are referred to other people. Or you mention you do that. Give a reference. That's it.

If you want to do that, temporary or permanent, find one situation you really like and it continues from there.

I did. It has been glorious! I was in places to hike, kayak, bicycle, sail. It has been my lifestyle since college, the first place I housesat was a cabin on the lake.